The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Air force (NAF) to tackling security challenges confronting the nation through capacity building.
Sadique who stated this Tuesday during the graduation ceremony and winging of six combat pilots at the NAF headquarters in Abuja, said four of the pilots completed Basic Flying Course while two completed Tactical Flying Course.
He also said the first female fighter pilot in the NAF Kafatat Omolara Sanni, is one of those that completed the Tactical Flying Training on the Alpha Jet aircraft
He said, “This ceremony is one in the series of remarkable strides of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards capacity building to reposition the Service into a highly professional and disciplined force that would respond swiftly to Nigeria’s security imperatives.
“I must note, with pride that among the graduands of today’s ceremony is a female officer who was decorated barely one year ago as the first female fighter pilot in the NAF. She has indeed made history yet again, by successfully completing the Tactical Flying Training on the Alpha Jet aircraft.
He said the NAF has successfully trained 118 since his appointment as the Chief of the Air Staff in 2015.
“As you are aware, human capacity development is one of the Key Drivers of my Vision and has received much attention since I assumed office as the Twentieth Chief of the Air Staff. This is evident in the number of personnel that have been trained in various courses, both locally and overseas.
“Indeed, today’s graduation brings the total number of new pilots winged since 2015 to 118, which is a glowing testament to the efficacy of our capacity building initiatives. These pilots have continued to add value to the efforts of the Service in dealing with security challenges in the North East, North West and other parts of the country. Moreover, it is noteworthy that, while a good number of NAF officers are currently undergoing various pilot training courses outside the country, our indigenous training institutions has continued to play a crucial role towards the attainment of our capacity building initiatives.”
He urged the combat pilots to give their best to the NAF and the nation.
“For the newly winged pilots, let me remind you that you cannot afford to rest on your oars at this time. You should be keenly aware that the feat you have achieved also comes with a burden of responsibility and so much will be expected of you not only by the NAF but indeed the Nigerian people whose scarce resources was used to train you.
He revealed further that 21 NAF officers are currently undergoing various pilot training courses outside the country, adding that by the end of 2020, the service would have completed the training and winged 139 pilots.
He therefore commended the indigenous training institutions for playing a crucial role towards the attainment of the services capacity building initiatives.
“It is therefore pleasing to note that 403 Flying Training School, Kano and 407 Air Combat Training Group, Kainji where the graduands were trained have continued to set the pace in the provision of high-quality fighter pilot training” he said.
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